Sunday, March 9, 2008

How job interview anxiety and this program has caused me to talk to myself...

Reflecting on: Job search anxiety that manifested itself as apocalyptic self-doubt...

I am a little tired. Okay. A lot tired and want a break. My anxiety has been getting the best of me lately. I re-rehearse things that I certainly already know for tests, and for interviews. Thank god spring break is almost here. I have pushed myself and learned an amazing amount in one year. I have sufficiently squished and jammed my brain so full of knowledge that occasionally I don’t remember what’s going on around me. My brain aches like it does after a really hard test. All the time.

I’m complaining but am not going to change because this kind of ache is hugely beneficial to me. Knowledge allows me to better understand my patients and facilitate desired outcomes for them. From time to time, however, I need my rug pulled out from underneath me. I also need a little balance; a few purposeless conversations that aren’t always guided by overarching school goals might do me some good.

The long and the short of it is that I'm starting to talk to myself (loudly) in public. Most concerning...

Tomorrow I have a job/scholarship interview on the cardiovascular-thoracic floor at the hospital where I have been doing my clinical rotations. That is certainly freaking me out. No doubt. I made the plunge a year ago and was committed to an academic and profession. But this is the job. This isn’t school. This is the work! This is the work that I want to do. These patients—this is why I am in this program. Holy. Freaking. Cow.

The advanced practice degree, though meaningful and eventually useful, is not exactly my focus right now. Understanding the exactness of nursing procedure and working with patients is. Each patient is a lesson. There is no way of knowing what might happen in a day, except to monitor them and pay attention through assessments.

So I am committed to this work—as I am committed to working on this floor. Initially, I was concerned that working on a cardiac floor was not necessarily consistent with my career goals because it is not strictly a critical care environment such as the emergency department or ICU. When I really examine what I have learned this year and what I want to learn, I realize that working on this floor is perfect for me. My primary goal is to help patients that are critically ill and better understand them. While the ED certainly provides this opportunity, I do not believe that the patient care perspective that I will develop in the ED will be as complete as I need. Having volunteered in the ED for almost two years, I realize that nurses mostly get little snap-shots of different patients before stabilizing them and then discharging or admitting them.

While I feel that I am capable of doing these important tasks and still want to work in the ED, the cardiovascular-thoracic floor affords me the opportunity to cast my net a little wider, and better understand the history of the disease/illness that has brought the individual to the hospital. Thus, when eventually I decide to work in the ED, I will have insight into the exact "snap-shot" that I am seeing. Given the fact that heart disease kills more Americans than any other disease, the skills that I will learn on the cardiac floor are particularly relevant to emergency and intensive care nursing. Furthermore, the variety of patients and pathologies is particularly appealing to me, not to mention the fact there are codes almost weekly on this floor, thereby allowing me to be surrounded by and participate in critical care as well as acute and even preventative care.

God I hope I get this job.

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